Places to Visit in Nepal @ Kathmandu
Unesco World Heritage Sites
Kathmandu Durbar SquareKathmandu Durbar Square, with its old temples and palaces, epitomizes religious and cultural life of people. The kings of Nepal were crowned and solemnized here. Interesting sites sare Taleju temple, gigantic figure of Kalbhairav (the god of destruction), Basantapur Durbar, and Temple of Kumari (living goddess).
Patan Durbar SquarePatan Durbar Square boasts of many famous sites and unique architecture. Krishna Mandir in this Square was built to honor an incarnation of Vishnu. One of the best examples of stone architecture in the world, scenes from Mahabharat, Asia's greatest mythological war, is carved on the temple's walls. Home to traditional artists and sculptors, one can find more temples dedicated to Ganesh (the elephant-headed god), Shiva, Narsingha, Taleju, and others are located at Patan Durbar Square.
Swoyambhunath StupaThe world’s most glorious Buddhist Chaityas built 2000 years ago is situated on a hillock about 77 meter above the level of Kathmandu valley. Visitors will also have a grand view of the valley from this spot.
Bouddhanath (Little Tibet)Bouddhanath is among the largest stupas in South Asia, and it has become the focal point of Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal. The white mound looms thirty-six meters overhead. The stupa is located on the ancient trade route to Tibet, and Tibetan merchants rested and offered prayers here for many centuries. When refugees entered Nepal from Tibet in the 1950s, many of them decided to live around Bouddhanath. They established many gompas, and the "Little Tibet" of Nepal was born.
Pashupatinath TemplePashupatinath Temple is one of the most sacred Hindu shrines in the world it is the richly-ornamented pagoda houses the sacred linga, or phallic symbol, of Lord Shiva. Chronicles indicate the temple’s existence prior to 400 AD. Devotees can bee seen taking ritual dips in the holy Bagmati River flowing beside the temple. Cremation of the dead body Hindus/Buddhist takes place at the bank of the same river.
BhaktapurBhaktapur means "the city of devotees" in Nepali language. It is also known as Bhadgaon and was founded in 889 AD by King Anand Dev. Today it covers an area of four square miles and is flanked by Khasa Khusung and Hanumante Rivers. The Durbar Square in the middle of the city portrays the prosperity of the Malla years and the details at which the crafts people then worked. The Palace of Fifty-five windows stands in the square, which was also home to many kings of Bhaktapur. Among the other monuments in Bhaktapur are the big bell, the Golden Gate, the five-tiered temple of Nyatapola (scene of the film Little Buddha), the Bhairab Temple, and the Dattatreya Square with its woodcarving and metalwork museums. Surrounded by beautiful farming area, visitors to Bhaktapur will easily fall in love with the city.
Changu NarayanOriginally built in the early 4th century, it is a pagoda style Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. All the stone carvings in the temple courtyard were done by Newari artisans in 5th and 6th centuries, which make it one of the single greatest concentrations of ancient art in Nepal.
ThimiThimi lies about 10 km east of Kathmandu near Bhaktapur. It is famous for clay works like pottery, masks etc. As vegetables for nearby cities like Kathmandu are supplied from here, it is also known as kitchen garden of Kathmanduites. The main deity in the town is Goddess Balkumari. Enchanting culture of the farmer community is the main attraction of this place.
Things to do:
Mountain Flight (Face to Face with Everest)Only awe-stricken silence can come close to matching the experience of going on a mountain flight to encounter the tallest mountains on the planet. Mountain flights appeal to all categories of travelers. These flights offer a panoramic view of the Himalayas in just one hour. Even those visitors who like the rigors of a trek still don’t miss the opportunity to "conquer" the mountains in one fell swoop.
Walking tour of Old Kathmandu MarketThe old market lying in the heart of Kathmandu city has a distinct character of it's own, dating back to many centuries. This traditional market leads to many intriguing sights and is a maze in itself with the narrow streets/alleys, temples, people milling around, colorful shops offering a variety of spices, dry fruits, color powders, incense, and many more things. Every day fresh fruit and vegetables are carried to this market place from all over Nepal.
Walking tour of ThamelSituated in the northern part of Kathmandu, Thamel was a locality away from the city center till the late 1960’s. Thamel experienced great changes as the influx of tourists in Nepal started in early 1970’s. Though hotels and lodges catered to the “flower people” in an area southeast of Durbar Square in Kathmandu initially called Jhochhen (later known as “Freak Street”), it was the emphasis on budget travelers that made Thamel more popular than the Freak Street in the later days. Thamel is now the main tourist area of Kathmandu and contains a large number of lodges, restaurants, bookshops, travel and trekking agencies and shops selling handicrafts. Hotels and lodges for middle income and budget travelers at Kathmandu are found predominantly in Thamel.
Shopping TourThe Handicraft of Nepal includes many “crafts” such as wooden craft, metal craft and many other crafts. They include musical instrument, day to day utensil, decoration items and many others. The wooden craft items include much stuff like typical tradition window, different birds, elephants, idols of god/goddess and even tradition houses, temples and stupas. Similarly the handicraft musical instruments cover madal (Nepali drum), sarangi (Nepali violin) and flute etc. There are quite a few other items of special value that carry some legends also. They include some weapon as a means of not destruction but as a protection device like the Khukuri. This is made by the traditional iron-smiths identical to the Gorkha who fought the ancient wars with this weapon and won the war. However, it is construed with the purpose of keeping it and not to use it but protect from being used. The other item of Nepal is one of the most unique water jars i.e. ewer which symbolize as a good luck item in Nepal’s culture. The hand woven items of Nepal cover wide range of goods. These have been used as items of daily use as well as sophisticated items of standard including as export items as means of commercial earnings. The woolen carpets of Nepal have earned a good reputation due to its warm and have occupied many luxurious drawing rooms of Europe, Japan and Americas. Nepal is also a country renowned for Pashmina, Silk, Cotton call Khadi and Kogita in local language-. These Pashmina and silk materials are used for Shawl, stoles, Mafular, scarf and readymade wear for both ladies and gents as winter wear. Other unique product found in Nepal is handmade paper products.
Nepali Dinner with a live ethnic cultural showA mixture of various ethnic groups have made Kathmandu Valley a unique place not only for its cultural and tradition, but also for its authentic cuisine. Decorated in traditional Nepali ambience, soft lights cast long shadows in the room. Traditional paintings along with old handicrafts and soft melodious music make it a truly enchanting evening. Another feather in its cap is the traditional folk music and cultural dance program performed every evening. The idea behind it is to familiarize the guest(s) with the costume, traditions and life styles of various ethnic groups in Nepal.
Visit Gardens of Dreams (GOD)In the midst of downtown Kathmandu’s urban bustle, the tranquil oasis of the Kaiser Mahal Garden stands as an enduring legacy of the extraordinary vision and talent of one man – Field Marshall Kaiser Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana (1892 - 1964). Located just across the street from the Royal Palace at the entrance to the Thamel tourist area, the Garden was neglected for decades. Its neo-classical pavilions paying homage to Nepal’s six seasons were crumbling. The stately garden paths were overgrown, and the rich variety of subtropical flora was disappearing beneath a jumble of weeds. Now, with the support of Austrian Development Aid and in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, HMG Nepal, this national treasure has been restored and can once again assume its rightful place among the great landscape monuments of South Asia. This magnificent neo-classical garden is typical of the wide-ranging interests of the remarkable Rana aristocrat. A statesman, scholar, linguist, and connoisseur of horticulture, art, and literature, Kaiser Shumsher created a masterpiece that, in its design and literary allusions, is inextricably linked to the collections of books about gardening, architecture, and literature in his impressive library. The Garden of Dreams is adjacent to a palace (now the Ministry of Education) built in 1895. Prime Minister Maharaja Chandra Shumsher obtained the palace for his son Kaiser. Within the Garden, walls Kaiser Shumsher created an exquisite ensemble of pavilions, fountains, decorative garden furniture, and European-inspired pergolas, balustrades, urns, and statues. He erected six impressive freestanding pavilions, each dedicated to one of the six seasons of Nepal. These pavilions provided the Garden's architectural framework and lent a cosmopolitan flavor to the formal arrangements of flowers, shrubs, and trees.
Museums In Nepal
Hanuman Dokha MuseumTribhuvan Museum at Kathmandu Durbar Square highlights the life of King Tribhuvan (1906-1955) who helped free the country from the Rana regime. The galleries also have rare photographs and paintings of other Shah rulers. Cameras not allowed. Open daily, except Sundays, Mondays and holidays, from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm. Entrance Rs. 250. (Tel: 4258034). Mahendra Museum at Kathmandu Durbar Square sheds light on the life of late King Mahendra (1955-1972). Displays include his personal belongings such as medals, decorations, gifts and his literary creations.
The Patan MuseumThe Patan Museum displays the traditional sacred art of Nepal in an illustrious architectural setting in an old residential court of Patan Durbar, one of the palaces of the former Malla kings of the Kathmandu valley. Its gilded door and window face one of the most beautiful squares in the world. The museum's exhibits cover a long span of Nepal's cultural history and some rare objects are among its treasures. Their meaning and context within the living traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism are explained. Most of the objects are cast bronzes and gild copper repouse work, traditional crafts for which Patan is famous. The exhibits are also designed to assist in interpreting the living culture that lies beyond the museum's walls.
Museums in BhaktapurBhaktapur is a paradise for art lovers. The whole city is regarded as a live museum itself. There are three museums in Bhaktapur.
The National Art GalleryLocated at Durbar Square has magnificent collection of ancient thanka paintings (Paubha) and various classic and medieval masterpieces in wood, stone and metal. Being actually housed in the ancient palace you also get the chance to marvel the original masterpiece of wall paintings on the walls of the Malla Palace. Established in 1960, the Gallery is a place to be while in Bhaktapur.
The wood Carving MuseumThe woodcarving museum is housed in a 19th century building, known as Pujari Math Specially built for the priests of those periods. The "Math" itself is elegant in its architecture with innumerable intricately carved wooden doors and windows including the famous Peacock Window. This museum situated at Dattatraya Square Displays an array of wooden objects which also portray the changing social outlook of Bhaktapur.
The Bronze and Brass MuseumRight opposite to the Wood Carving Museum in another "Math" the Bronze and Brass Museum displays heterogeneous ceremonial and household metal ware. The collection of objects, such as ritual lamps, hanging lamps, ceremonial jars, water vessels, cooking pots, oil pots, ink pots, etc. which were used in the ancient and medieval periods.
Nepal Ethnographic MuseumThe museum is established in two halls located on the 1st floor of (TSC) at Bhrikuti Mandap. A permanent exhibition of eleven different ethnic communities (the Thakali, the Sherpa, the Tamang, the Gurung, the Rai, the Limbu, the Chepang, the Jyapu of Newar group, the Magar, the Sunwar, and the Tharu) is affixed in the diorama hall and a periodic exhibition of individual ethnic community has been showcased in the ethnographic itemization of entire life cycle in ethnic exhibition hall. The Museum showcases the ethnographic details of the following eleven ethnic communities:
Natural History MuseumBefore the establishment of the Natural History Museum (NHM), specimens collected by foreign scientific expeditions were allowed to be taken out of the country for lack of a proper repository facility in Nepal. As a consequence, much of the scientific research done in the Natural History of Nepal was taking place in other countries. Nepali scientists, students, and teachers had limited access to the information on their own country's natural inheritance. During this period, Nepali students in natural sciences studied systems in other parts of the world, but remained alienated to the unique natural systems exiting in their own country. From this situation, the need for the Nepali Natural History Museum was recognized. The objective of the museum was to serve as a research and education facility in Nepal for foreign and Nepali scientists, students and teachers. NHM was established in 1975. It is managed under Tribhuvan University Rector's Office. The museum is built on the former Ananda Kuti Campus grounds. In the beginning, the museum had a few donated specimens of birds and butterflies. Today, the museum houses about 40,000 zoological specimens, 7,000 botanical specimens, 400 fossils and 100 skeletons In the future, the museum hopes to expand the physical facilities of NHM, as the exhibition hall is becoming quite crowded as the collection grows.
Natural History MuseumThe Lumbini Museum is located in the Cultural Zone, contains Mauryan and Kushana coins, religious manuscripts, terra-cotta fragments, and stone and metal sculptures. It also possesses an extensive collection of stamps from various countries depicting Lumbini and the Buddha. Lumbini International Research Institute (LIRI), located opposite the Lumbini Museum, provides research facilities for the study of Buddhism and religion in general. Run jointly by the Lumbini Development Trust (LDT) and the Reiyukai of Japan, LIRI contains some 12,000 books on religion, philosophy, art and architecture. Kapilvastu Museum is situated 27 km west of Lumbini in the village of Tilaurakot. The museum holds coins, pottery and toys dating between the seventh century BC and fourth century AD. The museum also has good collection of jewelries and other ornaments of that period.